Genoa Floods, Again

Today, Italy woke up to news that Genoa had flooded once again. Major flooding last caused chaos and the loss of eleven lives in the northern Italian coastal city of Genoa in November 2011.

This time round, one life has been lost and the flooding may not be over yet as heavy rains continue to batter the hills surrounding Genoa. Schools have been closed for the day and the residents of the city have been ordered to stay indoors. Italy’s government says it is prepared to intervene, if necessary.

***UPDATE: Time: 16:18, October 13, 2014: Fears are growing that a new flash flood may hit Genoa once more as rain continues to batter the area. Air and rail travel disruputed.***

Genoa is in a state of chaos. Shops and businesses have been flooded. Cars have fallen into gaping holes in roads or been swept away by the force of the flood waters and have ended up in piles. In short, the situation is frightening.

My father-in-law, who lives in Genoa not far from the Bisagno river which burst it banks, is safe and sound and heard about the flooding after being contact by telephone by his daughter in Milan.

The Bisagno river caused flooding in the Molassana and Brignole areas of Genoa. Brignole is the site of a major railway station. If you were planning to visit Genoa this coming weekend, then perhaps you should change your travel plans. The flooding may well cause traffic flow problems and rail services may face delays too.

Update: 13:15 10 October, 2014: Report of derailed train near Genoa. Driver injured.

The mayor of Genoa claims that prior to the flooding, no foul weather alert was issued, though Italian news agency, ANSA, states that foul weather reports were issued.

A foul weather warning has been issued by Italy’s Civil Defence authorities who expect the rain storms to continue until midnight tonight.

This video shows the situation in Genoa at 11:30pm last night:

[youtube width=”560″ height=”315″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnc5ZpgOW0c[/youtube]

Reportedly the bout of bad weather is not yet over so further flooding is possible.

Video Footage of the 2014 Genoa Floods

This video, from Genoa newspaper, Il Secolo XIX shows, towards the end, the moment when floodwaters burst the banks of the Fereggiano river. Note the guy who manages to rescue his scooter moments before the other parked scooters are washed away by the angry brown waters. You’ll also hear the panic and the terror in the voices of a Italian ladies who videoed the incident. “Not again”, is one of their comments.

Here are two more videos of the flooding from the website of Italian newspaper, Il Fatto Quotidiano (there are adverts before the main footage).

In this video, you’ll see just how torrential the rain was and hear the thunderous background accompaniment:

Another video of the Genoa floods. Note the car with lights still on being swept away and the immense power of the flood waters:

Questions

Citizens of Genoa want to know why no warning was given, as the city, as in November 2011, has once again been caught completely by surprise.

Moreover, once the flooding has settled down, many will be asking why the flooding happened anyway. Supposedly after the 2011 incident, remedial works had taken place. By the looks of what is happening today, either the works were not carried out, or they were not done properly. There is evidence that plants have not been cleared from the Bisagno riverbed, something which may have helped prevent the flooding from occurring. See the photographs taken in Genoa three days ago by Twitter user @farmaciaserrage here:

Genoa river beds

The photographs were retweeted by Fabrizio Viani.

Fabrizio Viani told me on Twitter that when he was in Genoa in August this year, the situation was the same.

It has come to light that works designed to prevent a repeat of the 2011 disaster had been on hold for the last three years. Red tape and cautious courts are said to be to blame.

Updates will be added as the Genoa situation evolves.

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